Great Lakes - Ragbrai Xxxi
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01-27-03, 08:42 PM
Just a couple days until the route announcement. Any guesses?
01-27-03, 08:47 PM
I bet you $5 it runs west-to-east across most of the state of iowa.
01-28-03, 07:07 AM
I'm guessing a southern route this year. I missed the last two years of RAGBRAI but I think this year I will get to go. Keeping my fingers crossed.
Southern route for sure. I think the start town will be around Missouri Valley (Town) or Modale and finish near Fort Madison.
01-28-03, 09:10 PM
Hope its a southern route so I can pick it up after my L/C ride.
01-29-03, 08:16 PM
What is a L/C?
Originally posted by Viper
Southern route for sure. I think the start town will be around Missouri Valley (Town) or Modale and finish near Fort Madison.
I was wrong as far as where to begin RAGBRAI, but correct at the finish! yea! :p
01-31-03, 02:44 PM
Guess it pays to check early...
Sun., July 20: Glenwood > Shenandoah
Mon., July 21: Shenandoah > Bedford
Tue., July 22: Bedford > Osceola
Wed., July 23: Osceola > Oskaloosa
Thu., July 24: Oskaloosa > Bloomfield
Fri., July 25: Bloomfield > Mt. Pleasant
Sat., July 26: Mt. Pleasant > Ft. Madison
Days three and four look to be the longest.
02-02-03, 10:52 AM
Everyone says the following:
Same as the '92 route.
Oh my God, hills.
Ok, you're right, no big climbs, but a lot of little hills.
02-02-03, 10:58 AM
Yep. I rode a southern route in 2000. Lots of hills but not so bad really.
02-20-03, 12:50 PM
I got this from a team listserv. They say it is the Sunday DSM register article.
Get ready to ride the "devil's washboard."
That was a term early settlers applied to the up-and-down terrain of
southern Iowa. It's still an apt description, as riders on RAGBRAI XXXI will
discover July 20-26.
The annual cross-state bicycle tour of Iowa takes its most southerly route
ever this year. Everyone who knows Iowa knows that means lots of hills. It's
rated the 10th toughest ride in the 31 years of RAGBRAI.
Don't let that scare you off. In total mileage, it will be among the
shortest RAGBRAIs. No single day's ride is longer than 80 miles, and some
are considerably shorter. That means riders should arrive at the overnight
stops with plenty time left in the day to enjoy the hospitality of some of
Iowa's most picturesque and welcoming communities.
Then there's the scenery and the character of southern Iowa - a land of
gingerbread courthouses, wooded ravines, rolling fields and pasture. The
vistas are eye-pleasing throughout and occasionally spectacular. The small
towns reflect some of the poverty and population loss of southern Iowa, as
well as local flavor.
Bottom line: Don't attempt RAGBRAI XXXI unless you are willing to train in
preparation for the hills. An out-of-shape rider will be miserable. But if
you're in shape to handle the hills, the reward should be a thoroughly
delightful tour (barring rain, hail, heat or head winds).
The starting town (Glenwood) and five of the six overnight towns are the
same as on RAGBRAI XX, but this is not a repeat of the 1992 ride. On every
day but one (Bedford to Osceola on Day 3) different roads are taken than in
1992. Day 3 also includes the optional John Karras Century Loop for those
riders who want to get in a 100-mile day. It's a different loop than in '92.
This year's ride passes through at least 11 towns that RAGBRAI has never
visited before, including Coin, College Springs, Shambaugh, New Market,
Beacon, Cedar, Kirkville, Chillicothe, Hillsboro, New London and Lowell.
Near College Springs, the route is so far south it's only about a mile from
the Missouri border.
The ride begins in the Loess Hills near Glenwood and ends in the
Mississippi Valley at Fort Madison. With those two exceptions, the entire
ride will take place in a geologic region called the Southern Iowa Drift
Plain. It's hilly because the glacier of the last Ice Age didn't advance far
enough south to flatten the terrain, as it did in northern Iowa.
But don't think it's nothing but hills. As a 1898 report on the geology of
Decatur County noted, the "topography was quite fittingly described by the
early settlers who spoke of the region as the 'devil's washboard.' An
east-west traveler must cross a series of alternating ridges and valleys.
The north-south traveler may usually find a ridge road. From the latter,
looking off over the country, the tops of the successive flat-topped ridges
appear rising to an even surface and restoring the old plain in which the
valleys have been carved."
That's the way it will be for cyclists. The hill-climbing will be
interspersed with flat runs through wooded valleys and on wind-swept ridge
tops. Unlike those early settlers on rutted, dirt roads, cyclists will be on
hard surfaces except for about three miles of gravel heading into Bloomfield
on Day 5. (Unless unforeseen route changes add more gravel.)
In addition to the scenery and the towns, RAGBRAI XXXI is rich in history
and other points of interest. Shenandoah, the first night's stop, has an
Iowa Walk of Fame, a streetscape that honors Iowans who became nationally
known. The route at several points is near the Mormon Trail. In Van Buren
County, it passes through the old riverport towns of Keosauqua, Bentonsport
and Bonaparte - and dips in and out (huff-puff) of the Des Moines River
valley at each town.
In Davis and Van Buren counties, the route passes settlements of Old Order
Amish. Mount Pleasant, one of the overnight stops, is home of the Old
Threshers Reunion, a celebration of the age of steam power. Nearby Salem was
the first Quaker settlement west of the Mississippi. Picturesque courthouses
adorn Bedford, Bloomfield and other towns, and Keosauqua has the oldest
courthouse in Iowa. The route follows the Woodlands Scenic Byway for a
while, and there's plenty of history on the broad Mississippi riverfront in
Oskaloosa features a municipal bandstand that is on the National Register
of Historic Places. Nearby is a statue of Mahaska, the Ioway chief after
whom the county is named. (Interesting trivia: Oskaloosa is named after a
Creek Indian princess. The night before reaching Oskaloosa, the ride stays
overnight in Osceola, which happens to be named after the Seminole chief who
married princess Oskaloosa.)
Applications to take part in RAGBRAI XXXI may be downloaded from
www.ragbrai.org. The cost is $110 for riders and $35 for non-riders for the
full week. Up to three daily passes may be obtained for $25 per day for
riders and $15 for non-riders.
Deadline for applying is April 30. The results of a lottery to select
8,500 riders for the week will be available on May 1. Daily passes will
remain available after the April 30 deadline.
A day-by-day synopsis:
Day 1 - Some tough hills coming out of Glenwood, but it's a short day, and
the last leg is a flat run from Essex into Shenandoah 58miles
Day 2 - Through hills, hills, hills, the route dips south through some
interesting little towns RAGBRAI has never visited before, passes through
Clarinda and takes Iowa Highway 2 into Bedford. 62
Day 3 - More hills, but a few smooth, level spots, too, as the route
stays on Highway 2 through Mount Ayr and Leon, then north on old U.S.
Highway 69 (some of it newly resurfaced) into Osceola. The century loop on
this day is exceptionally hilly.76
Day 4 - This day is a mix of rolling hills, steep hills and occasional
flat stretches. The road surface is rough in places. There are some nice
scenic vistas. The route crosses the Des Moines River on the way to
Day 5 - The morning starts with an easy ride, then turns hilly. A landmark
is the huge power plant on the Des Moines River near Chillicothe. Heading
almost due south, there are lots of hills and scenery. The route has about
three miles of gravel just outside Bloomfield. 67
Day 6 - Riders will coast into and have to climb out of the Des Moines
River valley three times as the route traverses historic Van Buren County.
There are rolling hills and a climb out of the Skunk River valley heading
into Mount Pleasant.66
Day 7 - This day should be a breeze. Henry County outside of Mount
Pleasant is some of the flattest land in Iowa. There's only one serious
climb, out of the Skunk valley near Lowell. Most riders should reach Fort
Madison and the end of the ride in time for lunch.44
02-20-03, 06:38 PM
Thanks for the update -haven't checked the web site today. Have been looking forward to a list of the through cities.
Thanks for the great post!! I am sure looking forward to the ride again!!! I have my vacation time in already, now if the weather will cooperate a bit, I'll have to get out and start working those hills!!
03-02-03, 05:33 PM
Doesn't look too bad. I just hope it's not too hot and humid. :beer:
Thanks for the link, I didn't know that was up already! Looks like I'll be using a route to work with hills to start getting in shape for this little adventure. I thought last years weather was about perfect....hope it holds for this year as well!
03-03-03, 06:11 AM
16100 of climb. I took a look at the 2002 route elevation map. This one looks like some work. I would be a tough ride (or an easy sag) if you haven't trained at all for the ride.
Thank goodness my new bike has a triple.
Ol' Blue's got a double up front....but 11x28 on the rear, so it won't be too bad. Just get into the lowest gear I have, spin 'er up, and enjoy the ride! Give me more time to chat with the other riders anyway!
03-03-03, 08:17 AM
I am setting up my new road bike with 48/38/26 up front and 11-32 in back. That should be perfect for RAGBRAI.
Man, if there are any hills requiring 26x32, I'm gonna be walking! I may have to bring along my other old Paramount, which does have a triple! Liberty might enjoy the outing anyway, may have to bring her along.
By the way, cycletourist, great list of links!
03-03-03, 03:36 PM
Hey thanks, Nebill. I thought those would be helpful to lots of people...
26/32 might be overkill, but southern Iowa has lots of short, steep hills and I want a bailout gear just in case.
03-03-03, 03:56 PM
This is still a little early, but does anyone have any ideas about a bikeforums.com get together during RAGBRAI?
Shoot no, not too early at all! I hope this year that my limited skills as a mechanic will not keep me away!!
04-15-03, 05:21 PM
Hey Bill -
Has anybody heard anything about a pre-RAGBRAI ride? I have heard of some friends that try to ride in Nebraska prior to the big ride. Just trying to plan my week early.
~I am so excited to go!
Hmm, no I have not heard anything........but I'll see what I can find out, and post anything I can find out!!
I'm a bit excited about it myself!!
04-24-03, 09:06 PM
Lottery Update: Tags Still Available
There is no reason that everyone on the 2003 RAGBRAI® should not have a wristband. Everyone who applied by the April 1 deadline is going! And here's some more great news for procrastinators, or those who just found out about the ride. Send us your applications now. Each year RAGBRAI has several hundred cancellations. It is expected that about 500 slots will be opening up within the next two months. RAGBRAI will accept the applications on a first come, first serve basis until the ride is full.
Application materials are available by clicking the Application link above. <see www.ragbrai.com>
On May 1 the wristband numbers will be posted on our home page. If you did not provide a nine-digit number in the Social Security field on your application, RAGBRAI is unable to display your results. The wristband packets will be sent to the Team Contact for everyone about the third week of May.
04-24-03, 09:26 PM
Jim Green spoke at our Bicyclists of Iowa City meeting last night.
I thought I would pass on a few of his thoughts to the forum.
The XXXI overnight towns are really going to be putting on a show for the riders. The smallest town - Bedford - may have over 350 volunteers showing up at their meetings and are excited to have RAGBRAI.
As for the route - 3-4 miles of gravel. Lots of rolly-polly hills, but no gut grinders. In fact, the worst hill is on day 7 - the flattest day.
Jim also had a couple of appeals for help. 1. Encourage people to get to the overnight town before dark. People want to party, but there are a couple of dangerous crossings which could be tragic in the dark. 2. We need to encourage more youth participation in cycling. Last year's average RAGBRAI'r was 42 years old. Our riders are getting older and we need to replace them with youth or we will begin to lose great rides, great bike shops, great bikes if we don't keep our sport growing.
I have no doubts that I will really enjoy my ride this year. I should be well trained and well equiped. And, I already have the time off work!
HAHAHA....well, I have the equipment, but I am WAY behind on my training! Last year, I was riding 27 miles to get to work, this year, it's a different route, only 19 miles, but 12 of it is hills!! Now if the weather will just cooperate a little, I can get in some miles!
I sure hope that if we can set up a meeting I can make it this year!!
Good deal that you got to see Jim Green, I've talked to him, but never met him.
Sounds like this will be another fun year, hope to see you there!
05-10-03, 12:07 AM
I am glad that RAGBRAI's leader is encouraging some youthful riders to participate. My family is on the waiting list for 4 spots to ride RAGBRAI XXXI. I am still trying to decide the best set up for all of us to ride. My 8 year old daughter will ride stoker on a tandem with me. Thinking about the hills, I am hoping that a 48/36/26 triple up front and a 11 - 34 mega range cassette in the back will provide enough range for the Iowa hills on our tandem. That combination seems to work here in Vienna when riding the hills in the Vienna Woods, although I will have to provide at least 95% of the effort on the hills while my daughter enjoys the ride.
Those of you who know more about these particular hills in Iowa might be able to offer advice for my other two family members. My wife and 10 year old son (size and strength of most 12- 13 year olds) were planning on riding single bikes with mountain bike gearing and slicks. They mountain bike here in Austria, but not for hours at a time on consecutive days. Now I am starting to think they might be better off on a tandem together in terms of endurance, safety and sticking together in the midst of the mass of people.
Any suggestions or opinions on what you have seen other families in previous years do? Single bikes? Tandems? Best time of day to ride for a family? How to pace it? If a child poops out in the middle of the day, how difficult is it to get a ride into the next town via the SAG service? Although we would like to all 4 ride every mile of the event, I have to be realistic as a parent that on some of those consecutive hot days of riding a younger child might need a bail out.
Boy, what an adventure for a family! I think it is wonderful.
I think the gears you have on your tandem should work fine, however, I must admit that I have never ridden a tandem, so maybe someone with a bit more experience will help out here.
As far as your son, assuming he has done some training, will probably do fine. I have seen many young people, and many mountain bikes on this trip. And, typically, you only ride 10 or 15 miles before you come to a town and have the chance to get off and rest a bit anyway.
Staying with your family shouldn't be too much of a problem. Our team uses those little Family Radio Service radios to keep in touch. The riders don't all start at the same time, so you end up with a string of riders all along the route. Your family should be able to ride along at your own pace and have fun.
RAGBRAI does have SAG vehicles that patrol the route, so if you have some trouble, just get off the road, turn your bike over, and the next SAG wagon will pick you up.
Hope this has helped...and hope to get to meet you and maybe share the road with you and your family for a mile or two!
05-10-03, 02:43 PM
Thanks for the response, Bill. I'd love to spin a mile or two with you somewhere out on the XXXI event.
Eventually, the gearing on the tandem might have to be adjusted just to please me on the extremes. I just don't know how wide one can go with the ratios to keep the chain and derailleur all happy. Instead of 48/36/26, I might be curious how a 52/36/24 (or 22) would perform. Regardless, my 8 year old daughter is not going to be providing too much power - so I will be the engine for the Iowa ride. A 24 or 22 granny ring might be more friendly to my knees on the ascents, but I don't know what kind of hills we will be facing in Iowa compared to what we face here in Vienna. The weight of the bike (40 pounds) plus hauling my daughter on the bike up the hills here is not a cake walk at times compared to a single bike.
I have more questions for those of you who have ridden the event before - if you don't mind my asking. It looks like everything I have read states the tents and gear have to be loaded up no later than 8 AM on the trucks. I assume that the best thing to do with a couple of kids is to head out early and get some riding done before the temperature gets way up there in the 90's. Are there breakfast options available once you leave the overnight town. Say 10 - 12 miles down the road? Or is it best to fuel up in the overnight town because they will be set up to feed 10K people?
We will certainly be planning on stopping for rests all day long and it sounds like there will be no shortage of beverage and food along the route to take advantage of during the week. I think one has to plan incentive stops a little more often with children, so we will certainly be trying to keep them motivated and using stops to help with that.
How about the bug situation? Flies and mosquitoes galore or is it not so annoying? Any favorite repellents that seem to work well in Iowa that one could suggest?
What about tools for bikes or maintenance? I read that quite a few support teams from bike shops come on the event, but I was wondering if they are easy to find and if there is access to tire pumps/gauges to top off the air every now and then? That would be one less item I would have to haul along on the trip. Are parts available in case of something breaking by these travelling bike shops?
Cash machines? Do we pass by ATM cash machines in some of these towns - or are traveller's checks a preferred option? I would think that a few ATM's in smaller towns might not take too kindly to a mass of 10,000 people.
I've probably got many more questions that the FAQ doesn't cover, but I will start with those in hopes that I am not bugging any of you with basic stuff.
I am sure hoping to hook up with some BF'ers on the ride!! Should be a blast!
Good idea to do some experimenting with your gears on the tandem. Moving a 40 pound bike and stoker up hill after hill will be a bit of a challenge, to be sure! But, just think of how great you will feel when it is over!!??:D
Yes, there will be places on the route to eat breakfast, and they are set up to handle the crowd...and, if one place looks too busy, just push on, there will be another place not far away. It seems like there is a vendor of some type on about every hill top, which is why some call RAGBRAI "eating your way across Iowa!" Your plan sounds exactly like what our team does, that is, after breaking camp, we hit the road, and stop after about an hour for breakfast. For lunch at least once, you'll have to be sure and check out Pork Chop Man, and I'm sure the kids will enjoy the portable stand that makes home made ice cream!
The pass-thru towns always do a great job of providing various forms of entertainment, from bands, to museums, to booths showing off who knows what! So, you will have plenty of chances to stop, take a break, rest in a park, or get some refreshments.
A bug repellant would be a good idea, but to be honest, I don't recall ever using one before. A good sunblock will be handy, also. Wonder if they have one of those that repels bugs??
I just carry along the tools that I would normally carry on a ride around here. There are several bike shops that have all the tools and spare parts that might be needed. Are you going to be riding with a team? If you need air, camp near Team Cycle Sport, we always have plenty of pumps around!
I think the banks along the way are used to dealing with the people, so I doubt that you will have much trouble with the ATM situation.
Glad you are asking questions, and there are many that know a lot more about this than I do, so I"m sure you get plenty of help!
05-11-03, 12:12 AM
Thanks, nebill, for answering some things.
We are planning or trying to hook up with a team. At least I had contacted a large team called OSS who provide luggage service, beverage tent, campground space, shuttle service, sag, etc... for about 350 people. One of the nice things is that they "acquire" enough campground space for the 350 people long before the riders arrive in each town. Doing this trip with two young children and thinking about finding space on our own, finding our luggage and getting it hauled over to that space after a long day of riding in the heat made it sound attractive to have most of that part of the equation out of the way through the OSS team. However, until we get official entry wristband numbers we cannot join that team or sign up for anything else.
That's all my fault as I missed the April 1st deadline and didn't even read about or think about riding in the event until I saw a magazine article on an airplane in mid April talking about RAGBRAI. Regardless, I sent the application forms in around the third week of April and was told that based on the average number of cancelations (around 500), we should be able to get our names off of the waiting list and into the official rider list between now and the end of June. And everyone has so far encouraged us to continue to make plans to ride in the event at this point even though we don't have official entry numbers.
In terms of weather and temperatures throughout the day/night - what can we expect? I assume hot, humid upper 80's and into the 90's for the day time. I was curious what evening temperatures average in that part of Iowa in late July and what kind of temperatures one finds at 6 AM, 8 AM, 10 AM, 12 noon, etc...?
Yes, I believe there are combination sun block/bug repellents available. We used to have one somewhere in the house and my memory says that it tended to smell more on the bug repellent side of the equation.
Sounds to me like you have a good plan! Being with a team will really help you and your family enjoy the event.
The temps in Iowa during the summer can cover a wide range, to be sure! Evening temperatures can range from the 60's to 70's, or maybe into the 80's! Usually, just a light wieght sleeping bag will be perfeclty adequate. Funny, sitting here thinking about it, I have never paid much attention to the temperatures, I always slept well at night, and if it got hot during the day, I just drank more water, spun her up and enjoyed the ride.
I don't know if you have seen my pages that I did on my adventures, but if you are bored, you can see them at http://home.atcjet.net/~whitlow/ragbrai.html and http://home.atcjet.net/~whitlow/ragbraixxx.htm
Seems to me that I read that everyone who has applied will be getting thier wristbands, so hopefully, you will be seeing yours soon!
05-11-03, 10:35 AM
Did you check the RAGBRAI site? They have a way to look up your wristband status. www.ragbrai.com Last time I check, they still aren't completely loaded, so you should be on board - cancellations or not.
I think that Bicyclists of Iowa City still may have some room. You will need a wristband, but you just have to apply to get one to commit to the trip.
For more info, go to www.jccn.iowa-city.ia.us/~bic
If you need help finding contacts - just PM me.
05-11-03, 12:08 PM
I have checked the RAGBRAI site several times and punched in all the correct numbers to see if we have been accepted yet, but no go as of yet. The couple that run the OSS group said they will be getting some spare badges in as well later on and that we wouldn't have a problem. Hopefully something will work out in the next few weeks, but since we are travelling overseas it would be nice to know sooner than the end of June if we obtained official spots or not.
Regardless, we continue with our training. We just did two big training rides yesterday and today with the kids in hot weather (80's). Well, at least they were big for us riding as a family together. And that was between Little League games, a girl scout campout and Mother's Day festivities. We were able to log in a little over 53 miles this weekend. Logged in a few calories on the way as well at a Greek restaurant along the river, an ice cream stand and a few treats packed in the bag....
HAHAHAHAHAHA Have to love your idea of training rides....good food, treats, ice cream...you are gonna do just fine on RAGBRAI!!
I didn't know if you would show up on the page where you look up your rider number or not, didn't know if that social security number thing would foul you up or not.
I'm sure it's gonna work out just fine, tho!!
05-11-03, 10:14 PM
BruceBrown, I rode on RAGBRAI last year and stayed with the OOS group. I was very pleased with their service. There is a wide variance of groups. OOS used commercial (Greyhound type) air-conditioned buses for transportation to the begining or end of the route. My bicycle was not damaged. I did wrap the frame in pvc foam piping. OOS does not have a bicyle mechanic, does not offer massages (usually for an extra fee) nor do they have entertainment. When you enter the destination city each day, the route to their camping area was clearly marked. They did offer shower facilities where you hang a 1-2 gallon bag from above. I used a combination of pay showers in towns where the lines were short and the OOS showers. They had a canvass canopy with coolers with beer and soda which could be purchased for a small fee. They were always located away from the main entertainment so you could relax if you wanted or take the public transportation to the party areas. The best of both worlds. I am planning on riding RAGBRAI again this year and will probably use OOS. I remember some people sagging with OOS if they knew they didn't want to ride in the morning.
BTW, I would not use travelers checks. Most of the people you will be doing business with are individuals and not commercial enterprises.
05-12-03, 12:30 AM
Thanks for the personal experience report of using OSS. It sounds like a reputable outfit. Of course, after I had read all about RAGBRAI, I was thinking of applying in each town for camping in host family yards, etc... . However, that option wasn't available to us because we have no wristband numbers and you cannot apply without them.
So OSS or some other similar type of service is what we will be looking to find.
05-14-03, 07:06 AM
Have any of you seen other riders in RAGBRAI hauling their own gear behind their bike with a trailer?
Here are a couple that interest me (Burley flatbed and BOB Yak):
05-14-03, 09:00 AM
I've heard of baggers and people pulling trailers, but I ask myself... why?
05-14-03, 12:21 PM
Why? Obviously, whether one uses the Des Moines Register's baggage service or one is hooked up with a team that provides baggage service, there is really no need to pull a trailer carrying items. I was just wondering if any of you had seen others pulling gear behind them in spite of the baggage services available? Maybe because they brought more than was allowed in the truck or perhaps they just didn't want to dig through the baggage pile looking for their stuff. Maybe there are some touring types on the RAGBRAI ride that simply cannot stand to not be hauling their own stuff. I guess I could have expanded the question to include having seen any riders using panniers during the RAGBRAI ride.
I may be interested in purchasing one of those trailers to expand the types of errands I already do on my commute/errand bike. I can only carry so much with my pack and basket. But that's another topic unrelated to RAGBRAI....
Oh yes, you will see riders with panniers, and I have seen one guy with a huge barbeque grill on the back of his bike, and another with a wet-bar, including a blender, so you just don't know what you will see!! Some riders do ride it "self supported", but not all that many, really. And, you will see trailers, some with kids, some with pets, and some with gear! You just never know!!
Hope your training is going well, looking forward to sharing a few miles with you!
05-14-03, 10:54 PM
I guess the guy pulling the BBQ grill must have been a Texan. They cannot live long without their daily "fix". ;-)
Since we will be riding with two smaller children, I just want to make sure that we have everything covered that we might need every day. A couple of small frame packs, handlebar packs - maybe a rear pack or pannier would allow us to have everything we might need during the day's ride. It wouldn't have to all be on one bike, but spread out between the three we will be riding. I can envision needing a few tools, tube(s), snacks, water, rain gear, sun block lotion, space to carry billfold/cash, maybe an extra this or that.
Although a trailer would handle up to 100 pounds and would carry the tent, sleeping bags, pads and clothes - I don't think I really want the task of pulling the weight of a tandem, an 8 year old girl and all of our gear for 926 kilometers of RAGBRAI. Since the ride is supported (provided we get official entry into it), anything we carry on the bike or pull would simply be for convenience to help make the ride more enjoyable. I guess for some that means a wet bar, BBQ grill, blender, dog or whatever.
I believe that the fellow with the barbeque mounted on his mountainn bike was from Colorado. I'll be darned if I can remember his teams name, but I have heard that his group actually ride thier bikes from Colorado to Iowa for RAGBRAI!
I would think the panniers would be a good idea. Besides the extra wieght, a trailer you also add more rolling resistance, plus and extra set of tires/tubes to think about. Personally, I just have the stuff I always carry in my seat bag, and then I wear a hydrapack, in whick I haul my spare tube, and a fanny pack for my money and cell phone. I know that travelling with children would make me re-think my needs!
I'm sure you will hear about your wrist bands soon, as far as I know, all who have applied are getting one!
05-16-03, 03:03 AM
I'll probably go with a handlebar bag or two and a seat bag or two between the three bikes we will be using to ride RAGRBRAI. That should take care of carrying the basics for us and allow us not to have to wear a Camelbak.
A question about the types of hills that we will face in this year's RAGBRAI. I am more concerned about the descents and braking with a tandem in the midst of a glut of people. Are these the type of hills that everyone just coasts down and builds up speed to climb the next hill, or are some of them pretty long descents that will require a lot of braking? Tandems tend to pick up a pretty good head of steam going down a hill and I need to know if I should add a drag brake to prevent my rims from overheating by a lot of braking.
The bags sound great...however, if you have a camelback or two, you might want to use them. It can get a bit on the warmish side, and water is power!
I'm sure that others can address the question of the hills better than I, but the ones I have experienced are plentiful, but not too bad. For the most part, I doubt that brakes will be too much of a concern. Looking at the profiles, I believe the worst will be on the last two days. And, don't worry about being caught in a "glut" of people...there will be a lot of riders, but generally pretty spread out. And, it just works out that the slower riders naturally tend to stay to the right, so if such is your speed, you can ride there, or move a bit to the left for a bit more speed. It'll be a blast!
05-16-03, 09:50 PM
I do have a CamelBak H.A.W.G. that I use for commuting and longer mountain bike trips, but I was hoping to avoid using that on RAGBRAI due to sweating issues on the back and trying to stay cool. There again, the H.A.W.G. is the next to largest bag that CamelBak makes. One of their smaller bags might be more appropriate. However, I was planning on going with 2 water bottles for every rider in our family because in a couple things I have read it sounds like water is not difficult to find on the ride.
In terms of the "glut" of people - will we be riding on both sides of the road or just the direction of traffic side of the road? Some of the pictures on the RAGBRAI site have people on both sides of the road, yet the information states that none of the highways are closed to traffic.
05-16-03, 11:18 PM
95% of the time, the riders on are only on the right side of the traffic line. Usually the first 2-3 miles out of a town, the road is congested, then the bikes spread out. There are also fast pace lines so you shouldn't have to worry about your tandem going too fast. Because this ride is so publicized, there are very few cars on the roads. The people of IOWA want the cycylists to come to their town and they go out of their way to make you feel comfortable and to stay off the route. When you get to larger towns, there is traffic, but there is law enforcement at busy intersections. Something I haven't heard you write about, is your attire. You know, you have to go dressed as something, or have your bike or helmet decorated. OR at the very least, travel with a full sound system blaring your favorite hits. You have to give the townspeople something to look at. Our bike club is trying to come up with something for us to do or wear. Good luck!
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